William Henry Ogilvie

Here you will find the Poem The Battered Brigade of poet William Henry Ogilvie

The Battered Brigade

The mark of a stake in the shoulder, 
The brand of a wall on the knee, 
Are scars to the careless beholder 
And blemishes. So it may be ; 
But every such blemish endorses 
The pluck of a steed unafraid, 
And the heart of a lover of horses 
Goes out to the Battered Brigade. 
Their knocks have been gathered in duty, 
Their scars in the front of the fray; 
It isn't your cleanest-legged beauty 
That's first at the end of the day. 
When five foot of timber before us 
Has half of the pretty ones stayed, 
If you want to catch up to the chorus 
Come on with the Battered Brigade! 
Turned out in the finest of fettle 
'Tis sometimes the soundest that fails 
And would rather hear hoofs on the metal 
Than follow the rattle of rails; 
But out on the grass with hounds racing 
And fences as big as they're made 
The cream of the gay steeple-chasing 
Is left to the Battered Brigade. 
Their line is the line of the foxes, 
Their pace is the pace of the pack, 
Though to-morrow they stand in their boxes 
As stiff as the props of a stack; 
And I 'll lay you my cheque at the banker's 
They're forward next week undismayed. 
Good luck to the blemished front-rankers! 
Hats off to the Battered Brigade!